Accueil AquariumSeascape aquariums

Seascape aquariums

The underwater landscapes carefully reconstituted in the Aquarium’s tanks present the specific features of the various Mediterranean biotopes. These seascape aquariums show visitors the fascinating variety of their shapes and colours.

The soft bottoms (1) composed of sand or silt at first sight appear to be desert-like. Yet a highly varied fauna is to be found there, capable of using its particular characteristics (mimicry, flattened shape, burrowing) to merge into the landscape. This fauna is often prey to numerous mobile invertebrates living near the bottom.

The Posidonia seagrass meadows (2) constitute a very rich ecosystem between the surface and 35 metres depth. They are formed by a species endemic to the Mediterranean : Posidonia oceanica. This underwater plant flowers and thus produces fruit when climatic conditions are favourable. The meadows produce a large quantity of oxygen, an element essential for the life of animals. In the extraordinary jungle of leaves and rhizomes, a hundred marine species find refuge and food.

The rocky bottoms (3) of the littoral are situated in shallow water. They receive an optimal amount of light, favourable for the growth of numerous algal species, which form a dense cover on the exposed surface of the rocks. These algae shelter and nourish small invertebrates, which are in turn the prey of other animals such as fishes.

Beneath the stones, in cracks and caves (4), live species that prefer or require weak light. In general, these are species that hide during the day in their refuge and are active at night seeking food.

Deeper down, below thirty metres, there are biological constructions built by calcified red algae and fixed invertebrates : the Coralligenous (algal and animal concretion) (5). These very fragile structures offer numerous and highly diverse shelters, giving rise to a profusion of underwater life.

In open water (6), offshore or near the coast, the largest and the smallest organisms live side by side, from plankton measuring a few hundred millimetres to the common rorqual with a length of 20 metres ; animals incapable of movement and dependent on marine currents, such as zooplankton, and the most agile and fastest swimmers, the dolphin and swordfish.